Siva sitting in meditation is a figurative representation of an ideal ‘Man of Poise’ who remains unaffected by all surrounding disturbances. Drawing inspiration from the dynamic silence within, such a person applies a steady mind in the din and roar of all marketplace. Such a person is dynamic and serves as a leader of all beings.
Lord Siva represents the supreme Reality in its aspect of annihilator, the other two aspects being those of Sustainer (Vişnu) and Creator (Brahmā).
Siva symbolizes continuous destruction in the continuous process of creation, preservation, destruction, and re-creation. The supreme Reality is described as the substratum upon which all creation, sustenance, and destruction take place. This continuous chain of creation and destruction maintains the entire universe.
Lord Siva is married to the Goddess Umā, who represents perishable matter (Prakriti). The power of destruction is always associated with destructible matter since this power can manifest only when a perishable matter is available.
Lord Siva is also known as the eternal Lord of meditation. With a serenely peaceful countenance, He sits in deep meditation on the top of the world, facing south – on Mount Kailash in the Himalayas. In this aspect, He is also known as dakşiņāmūrti, the dispenser of supreme Knowledge. The term dakşiņa means that the divine power of subtle perception is generated in a fully integrated, pure intellect. When this dakşiņā or power flows towards the vásanā conditioned hearts of disciples, it is said to be ‘turned southward’. Siva thus assumes the form of a Guru and sitting on the peak of Kailash, turns southward to serve all seekers.
The meditating Siva is seen against the background of the snowcapped Himalayas. The white snow represents the absolute purity or His mind, His posture symbolizes the ideal of harmony and poise experienced by a Realised person. In that state of Perfection, He is in total harmony with the external environment and happenings.
A seeker, who wishes to meditate upon and reach the peak of human perfection, must first endeavor to maintain the purity of mind, symbolized by snow. An impure and agitated mind cannot concentrate and meditate upon the Truth.